Is the Sharing Economy Worth Its Costs?

June 10, 2016

11:00 am

Technology trends are always improving; placing emphasis on innovation and quality over quantity of product, many ideas within the tech industry stem from the desire to improve on what is already being introduced. With that has come many new inter-industry advances, including the rise of the sharing economy. From vacation rentals, to clothing and even daily work, this kind of economy has made it easier than ever for individuals to work on-demand…at a cost. Although the core of the sharing economy has been around for decades before in other forms (independent businesses like the bed-and-breakfast, timeshare, or carpool, for example), it is a milestone because it places responsibility and profits directly in the hands of the renters and hosts.

But even with the positivity that can come along with it, what downsides can come from emphasizing on the sharing economy?

The Future of Work

The future of work may have something to do with the sharing economy and its effects on the existing economy. As the gig economy, remote working, and freelancing become more widespread amongst the current work industry, the sharing economy itself becomes just as much as a byproduct as these other effects.

But even though this means that the sharing economy in itself is an industry reaction to the evolution of how we work, that doesn’t mean that it’s without its own negative consequences. Its rise can lead to some more ethical questions being raised – how does this affect marginalized communities, who may have more difficulties finding support in renting or hosting their own goods? What support can they get from these platforms and those who run them?

These are things to consider when it comes to understanding how the sharing economy will affect the industry.

Is It Worth It?

In the end, the sharing economy is important because it marks an incredible shift in our work economy. With these constant changes happening from within the industry, it may be just another effect to maneuver with to the next phase of the industry.

But the question remains – is it worth participating in this economy? And the short answer is still a strong yes. With the proper support, the sharing economy can be worth it. It just comes down to understanding how to make the trends work for you. From there, you can be off to a positive start to making an impact within this sharing economy.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she’s using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color.

Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to [email protected] or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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